"I use pasta frolla, a shortcrust pastry, for most of my sweet tarts," says Brigitte Hafner. "This is a great recipe because it's so easy to handle and very versatile. If I have any left over I make little biscuits like Garibaldi with sultanas and lemon zest. Another variation on the filling is ricotta, figs, honey and roasted hazelnuts. I love to use That's Amore ricotta from La Latteria in Carlton. I find this cake is best eaten on the same day it's made, but it can last up to three days."
- 325 gm fresh firm ricotta
- 70 gm caster sugar
- 70 gm sultanas, soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- 60 ml pouring cream (¼ cup)
- 60 ml sweet Marsala
- 1 egg
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp finely diced candied orange peel, plus extra thinly sliced (optional), to serve
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- For brushing: eggwash
- For dusting: pure icing sugar or snow sugar (optional)
- 300 gm plain flour (2 cups)
- 200 gm cold butter, chopped into small, even pieces
- 100 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1For pasta frolla, process flour, butter, sugar, lemon rind and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk egg and egg yolk in a small bowl with a fork and, with the food processor running, add to the mixture and continue to blend until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
- 2Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured surface. Break off two-thirds and roll out to a thickness of 5mm. Roll over the rolling pin and ease into a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim edges, press dough into the corners and up sides of tin and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Roll the remaining dough into a rectangle, cut into ten 25cm-long, 2cm-wide strips, place on an oven tray and refrigerate until required.
- 3Preheat oven to 170C. Blind-bake base until starting to turn golden (20 minutes).
- 4Meanwhile, beat ricotta and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add drained sultanas, cream, Marsala, egg, lemon rind, candied orange peel and vanilla, stir to combine and spoon into tart shell. Arrange dough strips in a lattice pattern on top, brush with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked (30-40 minutes). Set aside on a wire rack to cool, dust with icing sugar, top with extra candied orange peel and serve.
Note Brigitte Hafner uses Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean paste. It's available from Simon Johnson and The Essential Ingredient; if it's unavailable, omit the vanilla and add more lemon rind to taste. Snow sugar is great for dusting cakes because it's less likely to melt than ordinary icing sugar. It's available from pastry and hospitality supply shops.
Drink Suggestion: Sweet Marsala. Drink suggestion by Max Allen